Food trucks at a Mesa park are doing more harm than good, some residents say
MESA, Ariz. - Residents in a Mesa neighborhood are frustrated with a food truck event backed up to their properties, saying it's wreaking havoc on their neighborhood.
As a result, changes are coming to food truck regulations after a Dec. 8 Mesa City Council meeting.
At Power Food Park almost every night, there are food trucks. The issue residents say, is that homes are right next door.
Monday through Saturday, the park in Mesa is bustling with food trucks and families gathering to enjoy it together.
"I have what is basically a giant backyard BBQ shouting and screaming and having a good time, which I love that they are having a great time. Then they go home and enjoy
the rest of their night," said resident David Sloan, adding, "I am 12 months into six nights a week, four to five hours a night."
Sloane lives right next door to the event and says it's impacting his family and the rest of the neighbors on the block when it comes to noise, traffic and trash left behind.
"The noise, the temporary lighting, the owners have taken zero interest in fixing. I have these giant lights in every window in my house. No effort or care has been taken," he said.
The city council decided in the meeting to have a 250-foot space requirement between food truck events and homes. Previously it was only 25 feet.
"The Mesa City Council voted this evening to amend its Mobile Food Vendor Code to make its distance requirements from residential properties consistent with state laws and other Maricopa County municipalities. The ordinance also provides a new exemption for food vendors from having to acquire a license if they participate in four or fewer special events per calendar year and have a current fire inspection," A city of Mesa news release read.
This ordinance, which takes effect on March 1, 2022, would not be applicable to Power Food Park since they've been in operation for more than a year.
"These updates to Mesa’s Food Vendor Code bring our City into alignment with standards across the state. Food trucks travel across Maricopa County and having consistency helps ease the bureaucratic burden on small businesses," said Mayor John Giles.
The owner of the park says it lays out the road map for the city council to support small businesses. As for the neighbors, they say it is a step in the right direction, but that changes do need to be made to this specific event, so they can have some peace and quiet.
"I actually love food trucks and I think it is a great idea, and I am on that side as well," Sloan said. "I hope they find a good place for it and an appropriate home where it's not having such an impact."
As for how this food park impacts this neighborhood, the city council meeting on zoning won’t be until February.
As a possible solution, the owner of the park would like to put up walls in between the park and houses among other solutions.
There will be expectations to the 250-foot distance between the events and homes. Those exceptions are:
- Operates on private property and is allowed as part of a Council-approved ordinance or resolution with a site plan or development agreement; or, three or less mobile food units are operating at one time, and they don’t operate on the property more than four days a year
- Operates at a licensed or permitted special event
- Primarily sells ice cream novelties
- Is parked in the right-of-way adjacent to private property on not more than four days per year
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